Anxiety is my frenemy. It’s always there but also always talking shit in my ear. I constantly second-guess myself, worry about things that don’t deserve my attention and just create more stress in an already stressful world. I hate anxiety and clearly the feeling is mutual. Despite, everything I have progressed and moved forward. My partner does not have anxiety and at times does not truly understand what a struggle it can be to get from one moment to the next. May is mental health awareness month, and I did talk about self-care in this post. But, now I’m going to be honest with you about the anxious mess I truly am.
Fighting your own mind is exhausting. At times, it seems it will never end. The questions that plague you and make it hard to sleep, to breathe. Anxiety is not pretty. To be an anxious blogger is a weird to say the least. I worry about friends and family reading my work but total strangers, sure, go for it. Blogging calls for a certain vulnerability of sharing a piece of yourself. It is scary to open that door and let others peer inside, especially now with so much judgement and anger flying around.
All it takes is one moment, one word that I should not have said to send me on a spiral. It can last for an hour or day, and I have to beat it back. Hard. I will think of what I could have done or said differently, or wonder what the other person is thinking or feeling about the “incident”. The pressure begins in my stomach, it tightens uncomfortably like eating bad food. Only to move up to my chest which begins to constrict until my breathing quickens in an effort to make my chest work. The pain moves up further to my head until the pain is dull, throbbing and I just need to clothes my eyes.
My anxiety and I begin the dance at the stomachache. I know I have all but lost when I can no longer control my breathing. The battle is all in me, to everyone else I am fine.
How I Fight
With each battle I have to take on, I know my skills get sharper. It starts the same way, I remind myself to breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Focus on just my own breathing. Meditation is one of the best ways for me to get to a place where I am not all consumed. My other form of distraction, videos and particularly animals. I love to laugh and laughing can stop the paralyzing fear just waiting to take hold and wrap me up like my favorite old blanket. The fear is not soft, its prickly as I imagine touching a cactus would be.
When I reach out my friends or family, I don’t come out and say “hey, I’m super anxious.” I have not reached that level of openness, not even with my partner. I just talk about whatever comes to mind that is not what I’m worried about. Mainly fun things I want to do, a book I read or want to read. Anything. Everything. Distraction is my way of getting back to a level where I can think more clearly and bring my over stimulated brain back to a more logical place.
There are times I need to directly remove myself from the issue, and just go for a walk. I am not one to do that in the rain often but during the warmer months, I love to be outside. During the winter or anytime I use essential oil. I create CBD topicals and I have a strong sense of smell so using oils that soothe my nerves and calm my mind have been hugely important.
Just Swimming Along
Even over the last year a lot has changed. I know we all have to keep moving forward, we have to keep fighting the battle. Anxiety may not be my friend, but it makes me stronger. No one can get on my case like I can, so I have had to retrain my mind and teach myself how to improve. How to keep getting better. Dory was right when she told Nemo to just keep swimming. That is what we are all doing. Swimming along and doing the best we can to find whatever it is we are looking for.
Just remember you aren’t alone in this fight. There are others fighting quietly beside you, keep going.
Good Luck Fellow Awkward!